Deep Rock Galactic Best Perks Tier List Class Guide

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

Improve your chances of survival by utilising the Deep Rock Galactic best perks for your next mission. Supporting your choice of class build the DRG perks system provides smaller but important bonuses to damage, survivability and utility to suit your dwarven mining playstyle. With 9 perk tiers available and increasing perk point requirements unlocking only the best perks can also save players a significant amount of time.

This guide includes a perk tier list for all classes based on community recommendations and my personal experience across hundreds of DRG missions. It includes both a quick reference summary table and detailed information on the strengths of each perk option so players can efficiently spend their perk points and optimise their perk setup. For new players I’ve also provided template class perk setups and my recommended perk unlock order to optimise your limited perk points during progression.

Table of Contents:
Perks Overview
Perk Tier List
Best Perks For Each Class
Best Perks Detail
Recommended Perk Unlock Order

Deep Rock Galactic Perks Overview

  • Perks are account wide bonuses and are available to all your classes once unlocked. Perks use a prerequisite system requiring a certain number of perks in the previous perk tier to be unlocked before the next tier is available.
  • Players start with 1 active (blue) and 1 passive (red) perk slot and can eventually equip 2 active perks and 3 passive perks with level progression.
  • The second active perk slot requires you to promote that particular class while the passive perks are unlocked from the 4th and 9th perk tier.
  • It is possible to unlock all perks in Deep Rock Galactic with enough time invested across all the game classes, note that there is currently no method to reset perk points spent though.
  • Perks received a significant rework in game update 28 (January 2020).

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Deep Rock Galactic Perk Tier List

The following factors have been considered in rating perks which are rated across a S, A, B and C tier. Given players must purchase a certain number of perks to unlock higher tiers players will want to acquire the best rated perks currently available to them and should unlock the extra perk slots (tier 4 and 9) as soon as they become available.

  • Flexibility: Perks that work for a large range of classes, builds, and situations (such as solo or multiplayer). This means less playstyle adjustment necessary as you move between missions. This saves on perk points initially by unlocking the generalist perks that do not require specific playstyles, gear, team or map to be effective.
  • Slots: With active perks limited to a single slot until promotion the best active perk ratings are stricter compared to passive ratings given the comparable ease of unlocking these additional slots.
Perk Name Tier Rating Perk Effect
drg-dashDash (Active) S Active: Get out of trouble with a short burst of speed.
While dashing you ignore all slowdown effects.
(40 / 35 / 30 / 25 seconds cooldown)
Press [SPRINT] in quick succession while moving forward to activate.
drg-field-medicField Medic (Active) S Passive: Leave no dwarf behind! You revive teammates 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 % faster!
[Tier 4 only: Upon reviving someone, nearby enemies flee!]
ALL TIERS: Active: Once per mission, you can get a downed teammate instantly back on their feet!
Press [FIRE] while reviving to activate.
drg-iron-willIron Will (Active) S Active: Never give up! Once per mission, get back into the fight with all your weapons reloaded and a rage-fueled strength for a 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 second last stand before going down for good!
While in this state you move faster, hit harder, and are resistant to slowdowns.
Make it count!
Hold [JUMP] after going down to activate.
drg-resupplierResupplier (Passive) S You’re a busy dwarf, got aliens to shoot!
Stock up on Ammo and Health 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 % faster at the Resupply Pod.
Regain an extra 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 % health when you resupply!
After resupplying, all weapons instantly reload!
drg-born-readyBorn Ready (Passive) S Unequipped weapons automatically reload after 15 / 10 / 5 seconds.
drg-vampireVampire (Passive) A Good thing you work underground!
Regain 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 health when you kill a medium sized or larger creature with a melee attack!
drg-thornsThorns (Passive) A Any time an enemy hits you with a melee attack it will itself take 6 / 12 / 18 / 24 damage.
drg-sweet-toothSweet Tooth (Passive) A Getting a taste for that stuff! Get 10 / 20 / 30 % more healing from consuming Red Sugar!
[Tier 3 only: 20 % movement speed bonus for 10 seconds after consuming Red Sugar!]
drg-deep-elemental-insulationElemental Insulation (Passive) A Get 20 / 25 / 30 % resistance to all elemental damage.
drg-unstoppableUnstoppable (Passive) A Nothing holds you back! Environmental slow-down effects are reduced by 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 %!
You move 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 % faster while carrying heavy objects!
drg-shield-linkShield Link (Active) B Passive: Whenever you are within 4m of a teammate, both of your shields recharge 50% faster!
Active: You can overcharge a teammate’s shield to 300% for 20 / 30 / 30 seconds.
(3 / 3 / 2 minutes cooldown)
Press [USE] while looking at a teammate within 4m.
drg-berzerkerBerzerker (Active) B ALL TIERS:
Active: Go berzerk for 10 seconds during which you get boosted melee damage and a lightning-fast pickaxe Power Attack recharge.
(10 / 8 / 6 / 4 minutes cooldown)
Activate by pressing [Fire] + [Mine] while your Power Attack is recharging.
drg-beast-masterBeast Master (Active) B Active: Charm a Glyphid Grunt to become your loyal companion. You can only have one tamed Grunt at a time.
(5 minute cooldown)
Tamed Grunts deal 100 / 200 / 300 % more damage to their targets!
Hold [USE] while looking at a Glyphid Grunt that is within 2 m.
drg-field-heightened-sensesHeightened Senses (Active) B Passive: You get an early warning when a creature is about to grab you.
Active: 1 / 2 / 2 times per mission, you can escape after being grabbed, killing your captor in the process!
(∞ / 90 / 5 seconds cooldown)
Press [USE] while captive to break free.
drg-hover-bootsHover Boots (Active) B Active: Fancy boots that let you hover in midair for 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 seconds, burning any creatures unfortunate enough to be right beneath you.
(120 / 105 / 90 / 75 seconds cooldown)
Long Press [CALL M.U.L.E.] while airborne to activate.
Press [CALL M.U.L.E.] or [JUMP] while hovering to deactivate.
drg-deep-pocketsDeep Pockets (Passive) B Leave nothing behind! Each of your mineral pouches hold +5 / 10 / 15 more valuables!
drg-friendlyFriendly (Passive) B Through the power of friendship you both take and deal 50% less damage from friendly fire!
drg-veteran-depositorVeteran Depositor (Passive) B Expert bucked handling! You now deposit valuables into the MULE and Drop Pod 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 % faster!
20 / 20 / 20 / 30 % Damage Reduction within 7m of the MULE or other deposit points!
drg-second-windSecond Wind (Passive) B Passive: Get a 8 / 8 / 12 / 12 % sprint speed boost.
Effect activates after running for 5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4 seconds.
drg-see-you-in-hellSee You In Hell (Active) C Passive: Right after an enemy hits you with a melee attack you get a temporary melee damage bonus.
Active: 3 times each mission, you can trigger a large neuro-pulse explosion after you go down. A residual neuro-electric field will electrocute and scare off enemies.
(2 / 2 / 1 minute cooldown)
[Tier 2 and 3 only: Neuro-pulse radius increased!]
Hold [THROW GRENADE] after going down to activate.
drg-its-a-bug-thingIt’s A Bug Thing (Passive) C For some reason, Loot Bugs explode whenever you get within 2 / 5m of them…!
drg-strong-armStrong Arm (Passive) C You throw flares with 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 % more force than the average Dwarf! Woosh!
Gems and other heavy objects get a 10 / 10 / 20 / 20 % bonus throwing force.

deep-rock-galactic-best-class-selection

Best Perks For Each Class

For new DRG players that want a reference of the best default perk setup for each class I recommend the following:

  • Scout Perks (Iron Will, Medic, Resupplier, Born Ready & Vampire): The best perks for Scout are those that enhance and leverage their inherent mobility. I recommend Scout players use both Iron Will and Medic as you already have high speed that reduces the need for Dash and allows you to be an invaluable reviving asset to your allies. If playing solo or for personal preference you can replace Field Medic with Dash and players can replace Vampire with Sweet Tooth as an alternative healing mechanism for the Scout given your ability to mine different Red Sugar spawns easily.
  • Engineer Perks (Dash, Medic, Resupplier, Born Ready & Unstoppable): The best perks for Engineer focus on all around improvement with Dash for additional manoeuvrability, Medic to help us revive downed teammates while our turrets handle threats and Born Ready to help us reload those critical secondary weapons. Given the Engineer turret combat I also often find the Engineer being a primary mover of objectives which is where Unstoppable is useful although this could be swapped out for something else based on your preferences and mission types.
  • Driller Perks (Dash, Iron Will, Resupplier, Thorns & Vampire): The best perks for Driller maximise this classes heavy melee attack focus by taking Vampire as a priority and pairing it with the top tier perks of Dash and Iron Will to give speed and team rescue abilities. Given the Driller weapon types primarily don’t have reload mechanics Born Ready is not a priority and instead I recommend Thorns to fend off tiny bug attacks as we are often in the thick of combat.
  • Gunner Perks (Dash, Iron Will, Resupplier, Born Ready & Vampire): The best perks for Gunner maximise our combat effectiveness with Dash, Iron Will, Born Ready and Vampire all combining to provide speed, damage and utility which is everything the DRG Gunner wants on missions. Sacrificing any of these perks for something else is a difficult decision as they work closely together on the Gunner and so I would not recommend deviation from this setup until you are an experienced dwarf.

Deep Rock Galactic Best Perk Tier List (S TIER)

The S tier perks should always be the first that you consider in your perk loadout and priorities to unlock or upgrade with perk points.. These are the top tier options in this perk guide with their broad high level of effectiveness across multiple situations ensuring they provide the best result for your limited perk slots.

deep-rock-perks-dash

Dash (Active)

Unlocked further into the perk tree this is a quality of life improvement for movement speed that also improves your survivability. The Dash perk begins to particularly shine at max level which reduces the cooldown from 40 seconds to 25 which translates into reduced mission time and the ability to move out of the way of threats to keep your dwarf safe.

deep-rock-perks-field-medic

Field Medic (Active)

Ideal for the co-operative environment Field Medic will help you revive those teammates quicker which means less risk and more time fighting. Not only does it make reviving fallen allies faster and save you time it also allows for an instant revive once per mission that is invaluable at lower player counts on certain mission types where you might need to get your sole ally up quickly.

deep-rock-perks-iron-will

Iron Will (Active)

A useful Deep Rock Galactic perk across solo and multiplayer missions and another that is available early on in the perk tree and continues to get better with perk levels. Allowing players to fight after being downed this is ideal for saving a team from being wiped out completely as you use the extra time to revive an ally and start a revive chain. Iron Will can also serve as a final push for an objective where going down may result in a complete mission failure.

deep-rock-perks-resupplier

Resupplier (Passive)

A solid boost to your resupply speed that can be a fantastic quality of life mechanic when you need to resupply in a pinch. The health gain also means these limited supplies will go further to recovering your vital health pool and helps to reduce the overall reliance on red sugar that not all missions have available in abundance.

deep-rock-perks-born-ready

Born Ready (Passive)

A perk that shines on Engineer, Scout and Gunner although has less usage on Driller given the majority of their loadouts don’t have many reloading weapons. With this equipped you can constantly swap between your weapons to maximise your DPS without having to go through a reload animation which means higher damage output during a mission.

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Deep Rock Galactic Best Perk Tier List (A TIER)

A tier perks are viable options that offer strong dwarf boosts although compared to S tier they are useful in a smaller number of situations, need some playstyle awareness or take time to reach their maximum power level.

deep-rock-perks-vampire

Vampire (Passive)

At lower perk levels you’ll likely take more damage than you recover with the vampire perk but as players gain Deep Rock Galactic experience and level this perk it can be an effective way to recover health between fights. The Driller in particular is a master of using this as many of their attacks are considered to be melee attacks that makes for easier health regeneration.

deep-rock-perks-thorns

Thorns (Passive)

An early passive option that might not sound powerful on paper but at tier 3 and beyond can start to kill the swarming enemies in a single hit (subject to an internal cooldown). This shines particularly on classes that lack area of effect and you find yourself wasting ammo to dispatch small low health enemies given the mission types you’re currently focused on and gives one less thing for players to focus on.

deep-rock-perks-sweet-tooth

Sweet Tooth (Passive)

With limited red sugar available in missions this can be useful when running with larger groups to maximise your healing potential in a given mining adventure although this role is generally covered by Vampire and Resupplier. At max level the speed bonus can also be a nice touch and used to escape from threats provided the appropriate map layout.

deep-rock-perks-elemental-insulation

Elemental Insulation (Passive)

Removing up to 30% damage from a range of elemental damage sources at max level this is a useful perk that shines on a number of map and missions combinations that every class can use. Ultimately it means less damage taken that needs to be replenished through supplies or red sugar and gives some extra safety on mission types that feature a lot of elemental damage.

deep-rock-perks-unstoppable

Unstoppable (Passive)

Ensuring that you aren’t slowed down by environmental factors and a small boost to carrying heavy items slightly this is another perk that saves a small amount of time and can be used on missions that rely on moving items but not something you’ll regularly equip.

deep-rock-galactic-perks

Deep Rock Galactic Best Perk Tier List (B TIER)

Moving down into the B tier these perks are still an option for your character but require specific playstyle adjustment or circumstances to be effective and even then are unlikely to provide the same level of benefit of those in the S and A tier. Like many mechanics in Deep Rock Galactic though perks have an element of preference and if a B tier perk works for you then by all means use it in your class builds and you may rely on some of these as you progress to max level perks.

deep-rock-perks-shield-link

Shield Link (Active)

A perk that thrives on particular defensive missions where you have to stand close with your allies and prevents you taking damage with stronger shield regeneration between waves of attacks. The ability to overcharge an ally shield by 300% is also something players need to remember to use often for the full effect of this perk though. It will also have greater effectiveness on a team of closed ranged fighters where it can be one of the best perks for Gunner or Driller team.

deep-rock-perks-berzerker

Berzerker (Active)

If you regularly use your power attack on your pickaxe then the Berzerker perk can allow you to significantly reduce the cooldown. If you struggle to remember to use this deadly melee attack though or don’t have your second active perk slot available yet as you haven’t promoted there are definitely better options available.

deep-rock-perks-beast-master

Beast Master (Active)

A unique perk that is also fun to use as it allows players to convert a grunt (called Steeve) to fight for them and provides boosts to damage output although simple cannot survive in the higher difficult levels. To ensure your allies don’t harm Steeve this bug will have a light blue glow around them while also taking reduced damage from your allies.

deep-rock-perks-heightened-senses

Heightened Senses (Active)

A useful perk if you find yourself constantly being grabbed by captors from above as you get both an alert that can potentially save you and a get out of jail free card on top of that as well. Given this uses a vital active perk slot though and revives aren’t a significant cost in multiplayer it is hard to recommend particularly when most maps won’t even active this at all and learning the signs of a captor is simply more effective.

deep-rock-perks-hover-boots

Hover Boots (Active)

For players that are still new to Deep Rock Galactic the hover boots perk can prove one of the best as it can prevent fall damage which is a common early game death. Outside of this use you’ll find the hover mildly useful in mining (particularly on Scout) and movement but hardly game breaking and eventually unnecessary as you become an experienced DRG player.

deep-rock-perks-deep-pockets

Deep Pockets (Passive)

For those that find themselves being a key mining collector for their team or like to play solo this quality of life buff can mean fewer return trips to the drop off point. While far from game changing its location in the passive perk tree can make this a useful mid game perk investment as you advance through the perk tiers.

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Friendly (Passive)

One primarily for the multiplayer public game hunter who finds their teammates being less than careful with their weapons. It can also allow you to be a little more careless yourself if you like to spam area of effect weapons which makes it a good default if you like to spray and pray without thinking.

deep-rock-perks-veteran-depositer

Veteran Depositor (Passive)

Another quality of life improvement that can significantly boost your deposit speed to save a small amount of time. The reason you’ll take this perk though is the damage reduction offered when near a deposit point which is best used on Gunner or Engineer who regularly hold ground near these locations.

deep-rock-perks-second-wind

Second Wind (Passive)

While you do spend a lot of time sprinting in Deep Rock Galactic the situations where the map layout is simple enough to have a full 5 or 4 seconds of run time for this to activate are actually minimal and your passive slot is better used with other options in this perk tier list.

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Deep Rock Galactic Best Perk Tier List (C TIER)

The C Tier of Deep Rock Galactic perks includes all the perks that simply don’t offer significant benefit to the player and should generally be avoided with your perk points better spent elsewhere due to the niche uses. These options are really only for experiments when you have spare perk points remaining after acquiring the best Deep Rock Galactic perks above as they will make your missions more difficult.

See You In Hell (Active)

Offering a unique mixture of melee damage boost and active shockwave this perk is let down in that the bulk of the strength comes after being knocked down for which Iron Will is a significantly more versatile perk.

deep-rock-perks-bug-thing

It’s A Bug Thing (Passive)

While fun to watch loot bugs explode from your presence this perk is simply not useful given these valuable bugs can easily be defeated through other means. Even Ghost Ship Games (the developer of Deep Rock Galactic) has admitted this was added to the game as a fun meme perk.

deep-rock-perks-strong-arm

Strong Arm (Passive)

With a boost to your throwing abilities Strong Arm is a fairly self explanatory perk although this will not significantly improve your chance of survival as the extra throw distance is simply not needed so I’m not recommending it in any situation within this Deep Rock Galactic perk guide.

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Recommended Perk Unlock Order

I recommend players follow this perk unlock order to minimise the perk points required to obtain the best perks (S and A Tier) and acquire them as soon as possible. Note that while the DRG perk UI suggests you need a specific number of perks from the directly previous tier to unlock the next perk tier you can meet these requirements by obtaining the required number of perks from any of the previous perk tiers.

  • Field Medic I (Tier 1)
  • Thorns I (Tier 1)
  • Friendly I or Second Wind I (Tier 1)
  • Field Medic II (Tier 2)
  • Thorns II (Tier 2)
  • Veteran Depositor I (Tier 2)
  • Iron Will I (Tier 3)
  • Resupplier I (Tier 3)
  • Field Medic III (Tier 3)
  • Thorns III (Tier 3)
  • New Perk Slot (Tier 4)
  • Iron Will II (Tier 4)
  • Field Medic IV (Tier 4)
  • Resupplier II (Tier 4)
  • Thorns IV (Tier 4)
  • Elemental Insulation I (Tier 4)
  • Sweet Tooth I (Tier 4)
  • Resupplier III (Tier 5)
  • Iron Will III (Tier 5)
  • Unstoppable I (Tier 5)
  • Dash I (Tier 6)
  • Vampire I (Tier 6)
  • Iron Will IV (Tier 6)
  • Resupplier IV (Tier 6)
  • Sweet Tooth II (Tier 5)
  • Born Ready I (Tier 7)
  • Dash II (Tier 7)
  • Vampire II (Tier 7)
  • Sweet Tooth III (Tier 6)
  • Unstoppable II (Tier 6)
  • Dash III (Tier 8)
  • Born Ready II (Tier 8)
  • Vampire III (Tier 8)
  • Unstoppable III (Tier 7)
  • Elemental Insulation III (Tier 6)
  • New Perk Slot (Tier 9)
  • Dash IV (Tier 9)
  • Born Ready III (Tier 9)
  • Vampire IV (Tier 9)
  • Unstoppable IV (Tier 8)

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Since the Early Access days of Deep Rock Galactic Sam has been blasting his way through mining expeditions, relishing the co-operative chaos and forging dwarven camaraderie. Playing solo or with a crew Sam regularly wields the Engineer’s wrench, crafting intricate platform bridges and unleashing turret hellfire on the swarm. With hundreds of game hours and more than 500 dives into randomised caverns under his belt Sam is an experienced dwarf who continues to “Rock and Stone” in between his other video game adventures.

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